Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker trade destination #3: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are in the midst of an injury crisis that could completely derail their season. Their second and third-best players, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are both out for extended periods of time and have forced Damian Lillard to go to superhuman lengths to keep their season alive.
As much fun as watching Damian Lillard single-handedly lift a team to victory is, it is not a great strategy for making the playoffs. P.J. Tucker could come in and help the team weather their injury crisis, while also sliding into their rotation once their roster is fully healthy.
The Trail Blazers have been deadly on offense this season, they are currently sixth in offensive rating, but there is one area where they could use some support. Only 17.3-percent of the Blazers’ 3-pointers have come from the corner, the second-lowest figure in the entire league.
The Blazers’ offense is already deadly and that’s without them taking the most efficient shot in the game. Tucker could slide in from day one, spot up in the corner, and help the Blazers make a run at a top-three offense, because, quite frankly, they’re going to need one.
The Blazers defense has been horrible this season, it ranks 29th in defensive rating, and it will remain their Achilles heel unless addressed. Tucker would help shore up their defense and while he won’t make them elite he is a far better option than Carmelo Anthony.
Tucker makes a lot of sense for the Trail Blazers but building a package to get him will prove difficult. The Blazers will need to offload salary to bring him on, which could force a third team into action but they have all but one of their upcoming first-round picks.
NBA general managers in times of crisis usually rise to the occasion and pay the price to build a competitive roster. The Blazers need more to be a true contender and they’ll need more to weather the injury storm that they’re currently enduring.
Next: Team #2